Quarter Life Crisis – Life in your early 20s

It is a thing, I assure you.

At the tender age of 22 I have hit my own personal QLC. We all know about the mid-life crisis; either our own fathers start wanting to hit the town again aged 50 or we ourselves, as young women, are hit on by men in their 50’s smelling of Joop! and wearing Fred Perry. Mid-life crisis’ are often shrugged off, often pitied. Poor men/women. Worked their whole lives and now they’ve hit a bump in the road. But what about us young ones? Where’s our pity? We haven’t even started our careers yet. And that is where the problem lies.

In the media there has been several articles on the sudden drop of GCSE and A-Level success rates, aswell as a drop in graduate employment. Not to mention the tripled fees for a majority of courses at most universities! But among those plenty are still successful, making the employment market for graduates that extra bit crowded. It’s lucky we’re a fighting generation. Even if in the meantime we find ourselves as a lost cause. Those of us who decided uni wasn’t for them had a great view of a gap year travelling, earning cash, gaining work experience and then a real step into their dream career, but it isn’t that simple is it?

I, like most people I know my age, am currently working a dead-end job (waitressing, 5 hour shifts per-day) to keep myself in some sort of social life. It’s good money I suppose for the basics. But I want a proper job and I want one now. It’s all good applying for work but how do we make ourselves stand out from the crowd, and become employable. We apply, apply and apply some more. We look for internships and unpaid work just to make a name for ourselves. And then what? It seems to an ongoing cycle of work, sleep, applying for work and no actual satisfication. It is very frustrating, but it is a given. Work experience is key, and as most of you know ‘WORK EXPERIENCE PREFFERED’ is highlighed in many job vacancies. We can’t get the experience unless somebody gives us a chance. Journalists can gain experience on online magazines such as the delightful (you’re already here if you’re reading this article) but what about every other job?

I’m an optimist and a realist. I KNOW in good time I will get my break into the journalism world and that I WILL be making good money, actually wanting to go to work, just like the rest of us QLC’s. However, in the meantime I can’t help but worry. Stressing out (and annoying) everyone I know. It’s only because some friends, albeit a fair few, have careers now. Some even engaged and fewer with children. I’m impatient and I think that’s my fault. However, I’m not here to depress you, but to relate with you and advise you. Really you shouldn’t listen to me as I serve noodles to middle aged couples instead of writing for a fashion magazine but here are a few tips I can give you, one QLC to another: Perseverance is key. Experience, passion and dertermination. Don’t take it to heart if you recieve several rejection letters. Analyse carefully what may have gone wrong, check to see if your CV is up-to-date and more importantly relevant to the job. We’ll get there, I can be sure of it.

We all need a cup of tea and a nice backrub and for somebody to tell us it will all be alright in the end. There there.

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